In 2020, Lala Koroleva, a Master student of the Faculty of Agrotechnology, Soil Science and Ecology of our university, has successfully passed all the preparatory stages for participation in the Erasmus + academic mobility program and now she is studies in Lille, France at the Higher School of Agriculture and Bioengineering ISA - Lille. In her review, Lala shares her impressions of her study and live in France.
"My trip to France started on September 3rd. On this day, my plane landed at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. After that, I took the train to Lille, a big city in the North of France. The path took about an hour. A few interesting facts about this city: it is located just 14 km from the border with Belgium, until recent times it was the center of the textile industry in France, the world's first hypermarket "Auchan" was opened here, the city's metro system was the first in the world which use automatic control technology. The city is a popular tourist destination, where a large number of architectural monuments are concentrated. The historical center with its buildings in the Flemish style is just amazing. In Lille, there are many libraries, museums, theaters, large and small shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, various exhibitions, festivals, street markets. There are a lot of students in the city. The life of students can be very interesting and rich in emotions.
Unfortunately, the global pandemic has made many adjustments. If in September we still held face-to-face lectures, by the end of October only practical classes remained offline, and since November we have completely switched to distant training. I wasn't lucky enough to fully experience the student life here, but I don't despair, because in any case, the experience that I have already received and getting every day is not comparable to anything that I have experienced before.
Before this trip, I had never learned French and was very worried that this might cause me difficulties. But I shouldn’t have worried. Lectures and practical classes are held in English. And I learn French in special classes, which are mandatory. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to get into a group with an elementary level and learn the language from the very beginning. This is very cool, after three months I see progress, I can understand some phrases when someone talks with me on the street. Since I am not a native English speaker, I was also enrolled in English courses to prepare for the TOEIC exam.
It took me some time to accustom to the educational process, but now I'm quite used to it. It happens that classes starts early – at 8 am and can last until the evening. But sometimes the days are not particularly busy, for example, just one lecture or self-management time. Skipping classes without a good reason can cause a lot of trouble, and it is better not to neglect the deadlines for work. What made me very happy, the ISA provides a subscription to Microsoft Office services and other programs that necessary for work, as well as allows students to print and scan documents for free. Communication between students, teachers, and the University administration is very well organized. Everyone has a University email address, it is easy to find the right contact and connect each other. The schedule of classes and grades can be viewed online on a special portal. And distant classes are held in the Microsoft Teams service – this is very convenient.
The study here is based on group work. At first, it was hard to get used to the fact that I need to discuss my work with other students, plan my time to work together. But then I even started to like it. It teaches discipline, mutual support, and practical skills to interact with people for future job."
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